6 Steps to Take If You Are Unsure of Your Career Path

By Kimberly Thai -- February 11th, 2021

Prior to graduation, many students may feel pressured to declare a college major and consequently, a career path. Oftentimes, students see professionals and their peers able to identify a specific moment where they realized which career path they want to take; however, this picture-perfect scenario is not always a reality for many students.


            1. Understand that this is normal.

If you’re unsure of what you want to do after you graduate college, chances are you are not alone. According to researchers at Pew, 61% of workers in the labor force have switched careers. That is six out of every ten people!


2. Consider your passions.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  1. What do I enjoy doing?
  2. What are my strengths?
  3. What are some skills I hope to learn?
  4. What are my values and ethics?
  5. How much money do I want to earn?
  6. Where and how do I want to live?
  7. How much free time do I want to have?

Asking yourself these guiding questions may help narrow your search.        Conducting an internet search that reflects your answers may help you identify prospective careers that fit your goals.


            3. Create a list of prospective careers you are interested in.

After searching the internet for some leads, create a list of prospective careers you are interested in exploring. Additionally, target specific companies and organizations that can help you learn more about these careers.


           4. Reach out to your peers, network, and professionals.

Networking is a great way to learn more about different career paths. Talk to your network, whether it’s your peers, professionals, or somebody in between, there is value in having conversations. Schedule time to chat about the different careers you are interested in, as well as other careers to learn more about prospective careers.


           5. Explore different jobs, internships, and projects.

Take the plunge and apply for positions. The best way to find out whether a career is a good fit is to gain hands-on experience in the field. This way, you get a sneak peek into what life would be like in these industries. You will learn whether a career is the right fit for you while learning new skills and meeting new people.


           6. Adjust your goals accordingly.

Enjoyed your internship? Great. Then that career might be for you.

Didn’t enjoy it? That’s okay too. At least you know now and can narrow your search.


So, wherever you are in the process of finding the right career path, these steps can help you solidify your wants and goals to steer you in the right direction. 

The 3 Most Common Resume Mistakes

Michelle Garcia-Guevara -- November 14th, 2020

As you progress through college, your resume becomes one of the most important documents you will ever create. Many times this will serve as an employer’s first impression of you and, in general, it serves as an overview of everything you have accomplished thus far. This is why when crafting a resume it is essential to pay attention to even the smallest details and ensure that a reader can easily identify the important parts.

Below we highlight the 3 most essential tips for a great resume.

1. DO NOT use a generic resume

One common mistake students make is that they will use the same exact resume for every job or position they apply to. While a resume is essentially an overview of the most important things you have accomplished this does not mean that you are supposed to cram everything you have done into this one page. Rather when adding a resume to an application it is important to be intentional about what you are sharing.

Only include experiences in your resume that directly relate to the responsibilities of the position you are applying to. For example, if you are applying for a position as a social media manager, you will want to include experiences that showcase your skillful use of social networks.

As a general rule of thumb, whenever you are applying for a new position you should edit your resume.

The resume is not a static document; it is meant to be dynamic and rearranged to highlight essential points.

2. Focus on RESULTS, not duties

It can be easy to fall into the trap of listing duties when talking about any experiences on your resume. However, more likely than not, what employers are looking for is that you are a person who is able to deliver results and make an impact in whatever role you have served. One good way to distinguish whether you are listing duties as opposed to results is in the sort of information you present. Duties tend to be generic and can be transferred to other positions whereas results can be measured through certain metrics and can only be obtained in specific ways.

Take the following example:

Position: Sales Associate

Duties: Made a sales plan that caused an increase in sales — this is an ineffective point for this position.


Results: “Created a custom sales strategy that increased quarterly sales activity by 15%, increasing branch profits by 13.2%” — this is effective because it includes specific data, gives concrete results of your strategy, and uses effective action verbs (i.e. created)

3. Don’t Slack Off on Formatting!

According to Riia O’Donnell, today’s recruiters skim resumes for an average of 7.4 seconds. With the thousands of resumes they review, can we really blame them for only being able to take a glance? In order to facilitate this process for employers, as applicants, it is important to make your resume easy to read. This will not only help the recruiter but it can also increase your chances of having your resume picked among thousands of others.

Some essential formatting tips include:

Use 10–12 point font: any smaller is hard to read, any larger is distracting.

Use a simple layout: avoid using distracting colors or images and keep everything consistent.

Create clear sections: use bolded headings and spacing to divide up sections of your information so that it is easy for an employer to navigate the parts of your resume.

Be concise: resumes that perform the worst are those that have minimal white space on the page, opt-out bullet points for long sentences, and do not draw the reader’s eye down the page.

At the end of the day, there is no one correct way to create a resume. Some career experts say that an objective summary is essential to include in a resume while others believe that it is a waste of space. These sorts of details come down to preference and individual judgment based on where you will be presenting this resume. However, the three points mentioned above are mistakes that are commonly found across all types of resumes. If as an applicant you can ensure to avoid these three mistakes in all your resumes, then you have already created an advantage for yourself among the applicant pool.

Author’s Note: Hello, thank you for making it to the end of this article. My name is Michelle Garcia-Guevara and I am working as a Business Development Intern for Seedstages. I am also a Junior at Rice University double-majoring in Managerial Studies, Asian Studies, and minoring in Business. If you have any questions about startup internships or working with Seedstages you can connect with me on LinkedIn.

Are School Courses Enough?

Dasha Shkipina -- November 4th, 2020

Picture this: you have gotten perfect grades in high school and are now working hard at maintaining your GPA at your dream university. School is the number one priority in your life, and there is no time for anything else. You worked hard and finally earned your well-deserved college degree and academic accolades and are now applying for your first job. You notice a strange pattern, however – most entry level positions require professional experience! Your classmates with lower GPAs and less applicable coursework – but more work experience – are getting these job offers instead of you. It turns out that companies are placing more value on experience and past projects that provide proof of skill than the courses you took in college! Why is obtaining diverse work experience so important?

Need for Applicable Skills

Approximately 3 in 4 employers say it is difficult to find candidates with skills their companies require. In many cases, academic courses focus on (often outdated) theory and do not spend enough time on practical applications. A McGraw-Hill Education report has found that only 4 out of 10 college students feel prepared for their future career. There is a gap between what is being taught in schools and what is needed in the workplace.

Trial and Error

In addition to the lack of real-world preparation at most universities, many students 1) are not even sure what they want to do, and 2) do not understand what the day-to-day life of their desired position entails. This may lead to students going after jobs they do not actually want, and later needing to backtrack to seek a switch in careers from their initial field of study. According to the Washington Post, only 27 percent of college graduates are working in the field that they majored in. Doing an internship is a low risk opportunity to figure out if the job the student wants, is what they expect it to be.


Internships provide a unique opportunity to network with professionals in the student’s desired field. These connections come in handy when students are searching for a full-time opportunity and may need a warm introduction to the company. Connections made during an internship can also take on a mentorship role and guide the student through the journey to a career in their desired field.


In conclusion, although there are obvious gaps in the education system, doing well in school is important, as it signals an extraordinary work ethic and ability to learn and retain new skills. But it is just as important for students to seek opportunities to apply their skills in real-world scenarios and prove their capabilities. Successful preparation to transition from school to the work world revolves around the balance of both learning theoretical concepts and applying those concepts to solve real problems. Although most people only start to consider internships during their junior or senior year of college, taking on extra-curricular projects and leadership opportunities (big or small) early on can have a tremendous impact on a student’s post college career. These opportunities can include leadership roles at clubs, classmate event organizations, volunteering at charity events, and taking advantage of companies such as Seedstages.com, whose goal is to match students with internships at tech start-ups.

Making the Most of Your Internship Experience

Najifa Hossain -- October 17th, 2020

Whether your main goal is to network, get class credit, make money, or add to your resume, there is no doubt that internships provide a valuable way to gain hands-on experience in a professional environment. The perks of interning in the field you want a career in revolve around two main concepts: As an intern, you have direct access to problem-solving tools that are not typically available in a traditional classroom setting, and your position grants you flexibility and time to learn and receive support on projects.

Whether you intern in a corporate office or early-stage startup, there may be more resources available to you than you think. Because any experience is what you make it, having a holistic internship is a decision made by both your employer and you. Finding opportunities, being adaptable and open to learning, and taking initiative may not be included in the job description, but they are important supplementary benefits that can help you make the most of your internship. Here are four of the most effective ways you can grow your skills as an intern and guide your own success:

Upskilling Workshops

Workshops are a seamless way to learn the basics of different tools and methods used within departments. Each time you see an opportunity to familiarize yourself with a basic skill, you see a way to add value to your internship experience. If your department offers upskilling workshops for tools or concepts you don’t directly work with, it’s still beneficial to sit in and learn them. The value of an internship experience doesn’t need to be measured by what you learned pertaining to your career choice; it’s better measured by what you learn overall. Relevant or not, if it’s useful and you have something to gain from it, stop by and check it out. Depending on the company size and structure, there may even be opportunities to host your own workshop. At Seedstages, interns have the liberty to plan and present their own workshop within their department for a skill they know well, which are open to all staff.


Regardless of company size or structure, internships always double as mentorship opportunities. Developing strong relationships with your supervisor, team leads, and project managers is a crucial step in building enough trust and acquaintanceship to work one-on-one with them. As your overseers, their role is to guide you, but being proactive with your work and consulting them for advice and feedback will naturally set the pace for a mentor relationship from which you can learn how to do things using their expert opinion and historical insights.

Cross-Departmental Engagement

When working with smaller companies in particular, cross-departmental engagement is a valuable and unique opportunity. As a business developer, for example, sitting in on financial and data analytics meetings immediately exposes you to the details of the work that department does in real time. Because you can see problems being solved in action, the first-hand insights you can gain from this type of exposure are great ways to indirectly learn new information and have a well-rounded working knowledge of the industry you work in. This concept is especially beneficial when working with a startup because other team members and departments are more accessible. With time and curiosity, you can develop cross-functional and interdisciplinary skillsets.  

Spearheading Projects

Whenever you see a project that piques your interest, it will never hurt you to speak up. There may be some skills you would like to master—not just be familiar with. Reach out to whoever is overseeing or delegating the project and ask if you can be more involved. If these people are too far out of your direct reach, talk to your supervisor. Let them know what you’re interested in—chances are, if you’re already a good worker, they’ll be all the more inclined to help you when they see opportunities for you to take initiative. The stronger of a relationship you build with your work and the people you work with, the more reliable and reputable you will be perceived. The confidence to take charge will come to you naturally, and you’ll feel more prepared when tackling new initiatives. The benefit, however, comes from the intent—you have to go into your role with the desire to be a leader when you can. 


As an intern, you’ll likely have a set list of duties and responsibilities given to you on day one. To make the most of your experience, however, it’s important to go above and beyond by building relationships with your coworkers and managers, taking leadership initiatives, and staying curious. Not only will you leave with more knowledge and experience, but you’ll be familiar with skills and concepts that will undoubtedly give you a competitive edge and nurture you into a more resilient and openminded worker as you enter the workforce.  

Landing a Job During COVID-19

Austin Foley -- October 11th, 2020

With COVID-19 causing absolute chaos to the job market, plenty of people have lost their jobs to the pandemic. This increase in the number of people that are currently unemployed will undoubtedly affect the upcoming graduating class at universities.

With the current situation continually changing, how can you put yourself in the best position to land a job? You can do an abundance of things to stay ahead of your competition to achieve your employment goals!

Here are some tips to get a competitive edge:

Create an Excellent LinkedIn Profile

Having a LinkedIn profile as early as soon as possible can be a huge benefit. Showing information such as where you attended school, extra-curricular activities, awards or accolades, skills, what fields you are interested in pursuing, and your entire work history. Even if you have only worked a job at your local McDonald’s, it will show off many soft skills that can translate to your career. As time goes on, you can remove the less relevant experiences to replace with new skills and internships/jobs. Besides, who was ever against having a humble beginning!

The perks to having a LinkedIn profile are the ability to build connections fast, showing off your skills, search and apply for jobs, and building your brand. Also, LinkedIn allows you to join groups either for your university or field of interest. This platform can help kickstart your career!

Start Networking as Soon as Possible

Networking is one of the most effective ways to secure a job. The best way is to reach out to contacts for information and advice instead of asking people to hire you. Try to contact as many professionals as possible to maximize your chance to learn and know more people. Get ahold of alumni associations, your university’s career office, networking events, and previous employers. This is where having a top-tier LinkedIn profile can help get your foot in the door with these connections!

Join Professional Group(s)

Joining an organization related to your field or industry as a student member if you are still in college or as a professional member after you graduate can help you to get experience outside of having an internship. These are easy to find, and they typically host conferences or events where you can meet others in the industry. This leads to learning, connecting, and potentially the chance to find a mentor.

Use your Career Center as a Resource

While attending or recently graduating from your college or university, it’s essential to use the available resources to discuss your options with the career office and meet with a career advisor. These resources can help with your goals, developing resumes/cover letters, interview preparation, and formulating a job search plan. They can also connect you with alumni who work in your desired field, which will help you in your journey to get a job. Take advantage of an underused resource on campus!

Get Involved with Internships

Internships can be valuable in increasing one’s chance of further employment. Creating new experiences and skills from these internships allows for people to have plenty to talk about with recruiters and hiring managers. Also, experiences can help build confidence amongst college students when competing for future jobs and internships. There are tons of platforms to find these opportunities, including a company like Seedstages, a platform that efficiently matches students with startups.


Finding ways to get ahead of the pack is critical in this current environment, so take advantage of the time and prepare for success!

Why Students Are Choosing Gap Years Over Remote Learning During COVID-19

Najifa Hossain -- September 19, 2020

As the semester began to kick off in mid-August, students all across the nation were faced with an imminent question: Is it worth going back to school this semester?

Among the millions of service workers, educators, and other professionals having to re-orient their work life over the past few months, students have also been making changes to their academic plans as schools implemented hybrid or completely virtual classes. According to Guild Education senior strategist Michael Horn, Harvard and MIT (among other universities) offered incoming Fall 2020 freshmen deferred admission to give them the option of taking a gap year. Though most universities are supporting remote learning efforts to make it accessible to as many students as possible, many are re-framing gap years as an opportunity rather than a loss. As Horn later mentions in his article, it is becoming increasingly impossible to ignore the effect these past few months have had on their generation. From a global pandemic to national protests to potent climate change, this is a defining era that demands innovation, creativity, and cooperation more than ever before. Students are constantly exposed to a wide array of problems and situations that extend well beyond the classroom, and many academics and employers are realizing the power of their potential.

Given this outlook, it’s no surprise that the startup sector swept in. Over the past few months, many have made creative efforts to recruit students that they anticipated would take gap years. According to Fox Business, venture firms like Contrary Capital are even hosting entrepreneurship contests with funding awards for students who start companies this year.

Characteristically, many businesses within the tech sector saw the disruption from this pandemic as an opportunity to innovate. One such company even created an entire platform to match startups with student talent as seamlessly as possible (see Seedstages). In a post-pandemic world, initiatives like these will likely guide the new normal; with more exposure to flexible, determined students, startups and small business ventures will undoubtedly recognize the potential of their demographic as a whole. On the flip side, students will also get a real taste of work that directly reflects their career interests in an environment that gives them the leeway to learn, lead, and collaborate.

How do the advantages of taking a gap year compare to learning in a virtual classroom? According to the Gap Year Association’s 2020 National Alumni Survey, students who took gap years reported experiencing professional and personal growth critical to their career success today. The association also summarized research findings from The Characteristics of ‘Gap‐Year’ Students and Their Tertiary Academic Outcomes, noting that “taking a gap year had a significant positive impact on students’ academic performance in college, with the strongest impact for students who had applied to college with grades on the lower end of the distribution”. For many students, the decision to take a gap year will reap far more than financial benefits.

It’s safe to say that a world of working from home and donning a mask as we head through the door is not what we had in mind for Fall 2020. Unpredictable times call for unpredictable decisions; it likely wasn’t a part of any hopeful college freshman’s plan to defer something they’d been working toward for years. But for many, it was necessary. For many, choosing to take a gap year over enrolling in school virtually saved money, helped them guide their career interests, connected them with valuable skills and people, and above all, gave them an opportunity to make their mark on the world.

4 Reasons to Intern at a Startup as a College Student

Michelle Garcia-Guevara -- September 12th, 2020

Any college student will know that when it comes down to job hunting and interviews, arguably the #1 quality employers look for is previous experience.

According to Knouse, an employer uses the job experience section of any resume to compare the job titles, duties, and responsibilities of the jobs listed by the applicant with the requirements of the job to which the applicant is applying. The employer essentially is looking for an applicant whose past experiences meet the needs of the position in question.

Experience in the form of internships is the most common way students show they are qualified to employers, but for many, it can be difficult to choose where to intern. Among the dozens of questions, we hear students ask, the one we most often hear is: should I intern at a startup company?

Although the answer can vary on a case by case basis, here are 4 compelling reasons to intern at a startup as a college student.

Significant Responsibilities

Because startups are usually companies with few employees when employers hire interns they have in mind people who will do more than just work on one concentrated project. Interning at a startup will mean that you will be given greater responsibilities, sometimes equivalent to that of a full-time employee. Through this unique experience, you will have multiple projects and milestones that you can take ownership of.

The work that you do will have a visible impact on the company which can be excellent for resume building.

A startup is a perfect place to develop leadership skills such as effective communication, teamwork, and time management because in some cases you may even grow to have other employees working under you. In comparison to an established company, your role as an intern at a startup will not be strictly bounded and will allow you to explore several areas of expertise and quickly take on even more significant tasks.

Meaningful Connections

Working at a startup also allows you to make connections that may be more difficult to establish at a large organization. In a startup, you will likely have frequent contact with the CEO and the Executive Board along with the other employees.

These are usually highly ambitious and successful people who can provide excellent mentorship and recommendations for future ventures.

Employees at a startup are usually knowledgable in a variety of fields since they are responsible for vast areas of the companies operations. In other words, the same person who is responsible for handling a campaigning strategy may also be learning how to develop the companies website. This type of environment allows students to have the freedom to learn and grow alongside employers without having to face the communication gap between employees and management that usually comes with working at a large company.

Explore New Paths

According to the U.S. Department of Education, about one-third of students enrolled in bachelor’s degree programs changed majors, compared with 28 percent of those enrolled in associate’s degree programs. About 1 in 10 students changed majors more than once.

As such, college is the place where students can freely explore their interests. Interning at a startup can facilitate this process because roles at such an early stage are not clearly defined.

Employers at the startup stage are typically flexible in that they allow students to take on tasks that align with their interests.

For example, although you may come in as a Marketing intern, you might also be given tasks that may be considered Business Development, or Data Analysis. This can be a great opportunity for someone who would like to pursue entrepreneurship or is looking to work in an executive role in the future that requires having knowledge about the overall workings of a company. Overall, the intern will wear multiple hats and while the learning curve may be steep they will have a lot to show for it.

Greater Probability of Being Chosen

Another reason students should intern at a startup is that it is somewhat easier to get a position at a startup than a well-established company. Especially for a student who has not had many previous experiences to add to their resume, it can be difficult to obtain positions at large-scale companies like Google, Walmart, McKinsey & Company, etc. This does not by any chance mean that startups have lower expectations; these companies still require that students meet the necessary academic qualifications and demonstrate a level of leadership and independence through their previous experiences.

In fact, many students are simply unaware of available internship opportunities at startups.

As such the pool of applicants is much smaller, and there is a greater likelihood of being chosen for a position. From a company perspective, start-ups have a distinct culture to large companies, who usually have a model intern in mind by the time interviews roll around. Start-ups are more flexible with their candidate selection and are willing to work with an applicant as long as they leave the impression that they can handle the work given to them.

Ultimately, here at Seedstages, we believe that every student can benefit from interning with a startup.

Having the opportunity to help build a company up from its infancy and take ownership of that accomplishment is something that you cannot find working anywhere else. The environment created by a startup is one that allows students to develop both technical and interpersonal expertise. Regardless of current experience, working with a startup can be a great outlet to discover new interests and develop entrepreneurial skills. That is why we are committed to facilitating the hiring process and creating a platform where students can directly engage with startups and find internship opportunities.

Author’s Note: Hello, thank you for making it to the end of this article. My name is Michelle Garcia-Guevara and I am working as a Business Development Intern for Seedstages. I am also a Junior at Rice University double-majoring in Managerial Studies, Asian Studies, and minoring in Business. If you have any questions about startup internships or working with Seedstages you can connect with me on LinkedIn.

How Smiling Can Boost your Business

Finn Wainwright -- September 4th, 2020

The workplace can sometimes be a rough place for employees. Whether it be the stress of meeting deadlines or seeing another employee get a promotion you deserved, there are many ways employees can become less confident or depressed in their work environment. If an employee loses their confidence or becomes depressed, their work productivity and output will start to diminish. This will then have an impact on other employees and possibly the overall company.

Luckily, there is a free, easy solution that every employee can implant in their day to day work life: smiling.

Sounds good to be true? Hear us out on this. There’s a wide range of benefits that smiling can bring to a company’s workplace. Moreover, the benefits don’t solely apply to the person smiling but rather the company as a whole.

The first and most important benefit of smiling at the workplace is that smiling boosts one’s mood.

When we smile, dopamines, endorphins, and serotonin are released from the brain. Serotonin, a major neurotransmitter, transmits happy signals to your brain which leads to happier moods. A study suggests that these happy moods that come from smiling can then help decrease stress. Psychological scientists divided participants up into three separate groups where each group was trained to hold different facial expressions. Next, they were assigned stressful tasks to complete and their heart rate and self-reported stress levels were monitored. The results showed that the group trained to smile had the lowest heart rate after doing the stressful tasks, suggesting that smiling can help the body respond to stress.

When employees have less stress and are happier instead, they end up being more productive and contribute more to the growth of a company. A study conducted at Warwick Business School proved this when they tracked the productivity levels of participants experiencing different levels of happiness. Half the participants were shown a short film to boost their happiness levels while the other half were shown a boring one to keep their happiness levels low. Economist Andrew Oswald stated that “Happier workers, our research found, were 12% more productive. Unhappier workers were 10% less productive”, suggesting that happiness caused by smiling can lead to better work productivity.

Smiling does not only help the person smiling but others around them too because smiling is contagious!

A Swedish study discovered that we mimic the facial expression of those we interact with due to us having an unconscious automatic respoBlackburn Orthodonticsnse area. When we see someone smiling, it’s only our natural reaction to smile back at them. This then boosts our happiness levels and vice-versa others when they see our smile and smile back at us. Therefore, an endless loop of happiness can be formed if everyone in the workplace were to smile.

Networking and conducting business can significantly be helped with smiling too.

We appear more attractive and approachable to others when we smile. By appearing more approachable, business clients/partners are more likely to trust you and will want to work with you. This makes it easier to do business with others and leads to more business opportunities/deals. On the other hand, if you don’t smile and show an unhappy face, there can be a loss of trust which leads to a loss in business. Hence, it’s important to always smile.

I know you might be thinking “I’m not going to be in a public workplace for a while because of COVID”, which is a valid thought. However, companies that are working remote right now are probably using Zoom and the act of smiling can easily be applied when Zooming for work.

Since Zoom is so new, some people who aren’t so tech-savvy are having difficulty adjusting and becoming stressed out to the point where their work productivity is being negatively affected. It’s been proven that smiling can help reduce stress, so it can be used as a tool to help these not so tech-savvy employees calm down and relieve their stress. Once their stress is relieved, they’ll be able to understand and navigate Zoom easier and their work productivity can return.

Also, Zoom provides a unique opportunity for companies because employees see each other’s faces more now than ever before. In the Zoom mode called Gallery Mode, an employee can see the faces of all the members on the Zoom call at once. This is ideal because more people will be able to see each other smiling better and happiness levels will increase overall.

Next time you’re in the workplace or a Zoom call, remember that a little smile can go a long way for both you and your co-workers.

Gen Z Needs Startups to Save WFH

Isabel Jauregui -- August 29th, 2020

Between managing remote classes and trying to break into the job market, Gen-Zers have no choice but to glue their eyes to their screens and grapple with the reality of working from home. Often, their schools aren’t doing a great job at planning remote learning, and the job market seems to be stacked against them. Combined, these factors amount to young people growing tired and distracted from the work ahead of them. So much so that 50% of Gen-Zers reported that compared to working in an office setting, they are less productive when working from home.

But if Gen-Zers are so glued to their phones scrolling through the latest social media fad, why can’t they direct that attention towards something “productive”? The problem might not lie with the young people, and instead be the fault of the institutions they’re interacting with. When you get decades-old, even centuries-old schools and industries that try to adapt to the current climate, young tech-born people will call out their shortcomings immediately and not take them as seriously. That’s why working with a startup might be the key into unlocking Gen Z’s untapped potential.

When a college student jumps into a faster paced, tight-knit, mission-driven environment, their surroundings now match their attention span. They can zone in on specific goals and quick-turnaround projects, while a traditional internship would have them studying a market for 8 weeks and have little tangible work to show from it. Especially in comparison to their coursework, college students who work at a startup are likely to be immediately refreshed by the immediate applications of the time they spend building out technical, stylistic, or logistical solutions.

One great example of how students can break the productivity bubble is by finding an internship or microinternship with a startup. With so many students gap years or semesters, or generally having more time on their hands since they’re stuck inside searching for an outlet for their creativity and aspirations, this is the best time to find an internship with a startup. The recently launched app Seedstages is a platform that does just that — instantly connect students with startups that are hiring. Students can even message with the startup directly on the app, matching students’ habits of instantly connecting with others online.

To reach out to Gen Z and break into their world, you need to match their attention span and their excitement, and startups are the perfect environment to make that happen. The immediacy of the deadlines and goals that startups work with match the habits of an average college student — focusing intensely on one project at a time.

Although it may seem like a cause of concern that Gen Z isn’t adapting as well as to remote work, this is a great opportunity for them to carve out careers that actually match their preferences, instead of going along with something traditional because they think that’s the only option. The choice is yours, Gen Z — startup your life or get stuck in the productivity rut.

Tech Startups: Our New Future

By now, it’s no secret that the key to success is strategic planning. For a company of any type or size, the effectiveness of their strategy at each level of execution determines their health, positioning, and likelihood for future prosperity. By aligning goals across the corporate and unit levels, companies can deliver more value. What happens, then, when a disruption as large as a global pandemic effects every virtually facet of a firm? How do they align their goals effectively?

The short answer is that not all of them do. The hotel, cruise, airline, and hospitality and tourism industries have arguably taken the biggest hit since COVID-19 swept the world. Entertainment and dining facilities come in as a close second. Depending on their preparation and willingness and capabilities to adapt, these sectors are not only struggling from a lack revenue. They’re suffering from a loss in confidence in their strategy and uncertainty for the future. However, in a market environment where they’re encountering frequent threats, other industries are finding expansive opportunities that have the potential to come full circle and lift them up.

There is a difference between companies that are doing well because its executives prepared for this kind of disruption with contingency plans and adapted and companies that are doing well because they were ahead of the curve from the beginning. In The Big Lie of Strategic Planning, Harvard Business Review’s Roger L. Martin emphasized the importance of a company’s strategy in giving them a competitive advantage. The idea isn’t to just maximize performance with the resources you have, but rather to put in a consistent effort to expand your capabilities and potential. Martin sums it up best when he asserts that “The objective is not to eliminate risk but to increase the odds of success”. Intuitively, this seems like something executives and managers should think about after they’ve reached their targets and goals for the period. However, Martin argues that breaking boundaries should be at the forefront of their strategy in order to be successful. After all, from an operational perspective, the companies that are the most ahead of the curve are the least disrupted by COVID-19.

As it turns out, tech startups fall into the category of those companies that are increasing their odds of success. Companies like Zoom, DoorDash, Plaid, and Snowflake are making business and personal services accessible during a period of devastating inaccessibility.

It is likely that some companies will inevitably overreact in response to the disruption caused by COVID-19. In trying to readjust and normalize their options and strategy again, they might undergo serious structural and protocol changes. This becomes a challenge for firms that deliver tangible products in particular because their productivity is dependent on space and in-person operations, especially after considering that no one truly knows how long the effects of this virus will last or the residual public health challenges it could potentially introduce. An article recently published in the New York Times highlighted the reality many students faced this summer when large firms cancelled their internship programs. Resourcefully, a new tech startup swept in just in time with a response to this issue. Seedstages is a mobile app that allows students to find exciting tech sector internships while giving startups easy access to new and diverse talent to boost productivity in the post-pandemic world. Similarly, startups quickly realized the potential to gain student team members without having to implement costly and time-consuming traditional recruitment processes and are sweeping into the scene to hire new, optimistic talent. In this way, the technology sector is rapidly churning out solutions to unprecedented problems, and it’s up to us to take advantage of them.

It wouldn’t be a stretch to call tech startups our future. Their adaptability and creativity combined with a capacity and willingness to innovate gives them an unavoidable competitive edge. Many industries are suffering during these tumultuous times, but tech startups are beginning to provide serious support to both consumers and businesses worldwide. And who knows? Within the next few months, maybe we’ll witness a new venture emerge to bring the most COVID-disrupted industries back to where they want to be.